“The world has a limited amount of resources.”
While there are many resources that are finite, some believe there is a finite number of ideas. But, in reality, this theory of idea scarcity is a myth. When an idea creates the spark that leads to something new being created, it takes the place of something old and the creative cycle starts again with a new idea. The only way to run out of ideas is to stop creating.
Ideas are the most valuable thing in existence. Some say ideas are worth more than money, land, or even oil and coal because they can create something new from nothing! Ideas give life and meaning where there was none before the idea came along.
The creative process can be long and difficult, but it's always rewarding. But there are roadblocks that can impede the creative cycle.
These roadblocks fall into two categories: internal and external. Internal roadblocks are self-imposed or self-inflicted because of fear and pressure while external ones come in different forms such as burnout, criticism, rejection, negativity, etc…
Let's look at the two most common roadblocks.
I was talking to someone I've been mentoring the other day about how he had been struggling with his creative work. I asked him if he felt like he had been running into the constant criticism that creatives often face. He said he was under a lot of pressure to create something new on a regular basis, even though he wasn't feeling inspired. The pressure had been building since people were giving him more attention than they ever had before because of his creative work. Success sets the expectation for more success.
One way that creatives can get away from the constant pressure is by removing themselves from any outside influences so they have time to be inspired again. By simply ignoring what others say, you create the mental space to find inspiration.
There is nothing wrong with taking a break now and then, but it shouldn't become a repeated excuse because we all know what happens when we do this: we fall behind! If others are waiting for us to come up with something, they will eventually tire of waiting and look elsewhere for their inspiration.
What some call idea scarcity results from creative burnout, which can be hard to avoid when you are working with creative endeavors. It's the point where you are so exhausted that everything seems too hard. You are void of new ideas.
Creative burnout is an important issue, but it does not have to be a terminal one. You can get your passion back and return to being creative again by taking some time off. Sometimes taking a day to recharge will give you the motivation and energy that you need to create new things.
Having supportive people is also important because they can help motivate us when we are feeling down. If your family or friends want what's best for you, then why not let them know how much this means?
Finding Your Creative Inspiration
If you feel your creativity running dry, then you need to find inspiration and get back into your flow state. It could be helping someone else with their creative project or taking some time to learn new things.
Being around like-minded creative individuals who keep you accountable to reach your creative goals will always be a source of inspiration; even if it is just brainstorming or bouncing new ideas off each other, this creativity breeds more creativity.
Avoid The Trap
Don't fall for the false theory of idea scarcity — because it's all in your head!
The only way to run out of ideas is to stop creating.
Therefore, the next best step you can take to feed your creativity is to share your work. Take the advice of famous author Arthur Edward Waite: “No belief is more powerful than an idea when it is truly shared.”
So what are you waiting for? Share what you are creating with the world!
Phil McKinney Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.